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Cellblock Squadrons

Score: 62%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: TotalGaming.net
Developer: Super Furious Software
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation/ Flight

Graphics & Sound:

Cellblock Squadrons is a space flight sim that looks like it came out about ten years ago. Though the stellar backgrounds, full of nebulas and sprinkled with stars, look colorful and engrossing, the rest of the game looks downright dull. The ships are uninspired hulks of grayish metal, and most of the weapon effects look the same. More often than not you?ll find yourself shooting down a large box with a couple of engine ports. There are, on rare occasions, very large and somewhat cool ships to fly against, but these are few and far between and don?t really make up for all the other boring stuff you have to wade through.

What music there is sounds good, but there is far too little of it. It seems like every mission starts out with the same track, and they quickly begin to blur together after a while, as none are very distinct from the other. The sound effects also suffer from uninspired monotony, as the sound that accompanies the monotonous graphics is equally indistinct.


The story of Cellblock Squadrons is a simple one. Not altogether original, it plants you in the role of a prisoner fighting for his freedom on the hostile frontiers of an empire. Your debt to society is measured in cold hard cash, and every mission you complete awards you a monetary sum that is used towards buying back your freedom.

The feeble story is granted a bit of exposition along the way via the emails you receive in between missions. These emails tell tales of what?s going back on Earth, letters from your superior officer, or just random emails from other prisoners. A few of these emails can be answered in various ways, but they have little to no effect on the storyline as a whole.

Also in between missions you can choose your ship. There are five base ships you can always pick between, and another five that can be unlocked during the course of the game. Each ship has different features, but none are varied enough that it makes the choice a fun one.

When you complete a mission and you rank first amongst your wingmen (simply by doing the most damage to the enemy), you are afforded the liberty to pick the next mission. Your choices are simply ranked Easy, Medium, and Hard, the harder of which grants more money upon completion.

The missions, which form the bulk of the game, are depressingly redundant. Every single one launches you out of your mother ship, throws a couple of enemy ships at you, and ends when either they or you are dead. Dying in a mission has no effect on the story other than the next mission will automatically be chosen for you.

There is no Multiplayer mode to speak of, and even if there was there seems little that could have been done with it to have made it fun. However, the single player mode is bad enough that it would have driven most people online, had there been the option.


Cellblock Squadrons is a shallow game that is easy to figure out, and because of this it quickly becomes boring. The differences in the ships are not enough to make your decision a tough one for each mission. Most missions can be easily completed with every ship offered. Achieving the highest rank on each mission is also incredibly easy, even on the so called ?hard? missions. As a space sim, Cellblock Squadrons offers none of the challenges that make flying in the vacuum of space fun. It has been stripped down to a game where the only technique required is pointing and clicking.

Game Mechanics:

Cellblock Squadrons is controlled with the mouse, much like Privateer. Unlike Privateer, controlling your ship is awkward and no matter how long you play, it never seems quite right.

Your HUD is populated with a single targeting cursor in the middle of the screen, another targeting cursor that you use to fly, radar, and a shield monitor. A practical setup, but one that doesn?t afford many possibilities for engaging gameplay.

Cellblock Squadrons would make a better proof-of-concept than a full fledged game. Though the price is low, it still doesn?t offer anything that will keep the player interested for more than a couple of missions.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/XP, 1GHz Processor, 128MB RAM, 50MB Hard Disk Space, GeForce 3 / Radeon 8500 or Better Video Card

Test System:

Windows XP, 2.4GHz Processor, 1GB RAM, GeForce 6800 GT

Microsoft Xbox Metal Slug 4 and 5 Sony PlayStation 2 NHL 06

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated